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What Cruz vs. Trump Means

Donald Trump will go to the Republican convention in Cleveland with more delegates than anyone else. But it’s still possible he won’t have an outright majority. The mechanics of a contested convention have been covered at length in TAC [1] and elsewhere [2]. But what about the politics—who actually emerges as the Republican nominee?

The simplest answer is Ted Cruz. He’ll have the second largest number of delegates, as well as the symbolically important second largest number of popular votes. Although his Senate colleagues dislike and have been slow to endorse him, he has in fact assembled a broad coalition of support on the right, from former Jeb Bush advisors to the Senate’s most policy-minded conservative, Mike Lee. Cruz is the obvious pole around which to consolidate anti-Trump forces.

A two-man contest between Trump and Cruz is clarifying for movement conservatism. Cruz is what movement conservatism consciously created—somewhat to its own regret. The Texas senator checks every ideological box for the movement, from cutting government to talking tough in foreign policy to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. Cruz wants to restrict immigration, but he’s more favorable toward free trade than Trump is. That’s roughly where the center of gravity for movement conservatism lies as well. The trouble is that Cruz has used these issues to advance himself in a way that has embarrassed his fellow movement conservatives. Instead of being kept in line by his adherence to movement orthodoxy, he has exploited his mastery of that orthodoxy to make himself a star.

Trump, on the other hand, is what movement conservatism has unconsciously created—a populist, economically nationalist backlash against a movement whose priorities are chiefly those of wealthy and upper-middle-class whites. This is even true where social issues are concerned: the poorest white Americans may not be supporters of same-sex marriage or abortion rights, but when given the choice they prioritize other issues more fundamentally connected to their lives. In this, lower-class whites are similar to black and Hispanic Americans, who remain firmly part of the Democratic coalition—despite much talk from movement conservatives about black and Hispanic qualms over abortion and homosexuality—because economics and group status are the things that matter most.

The practical, short-term question for Republicans choosing between Trump and Cruz is not so much whether either of them can beat Hillary Clinton—that may ultimately depend on her legal troubles—as it is which of them will do the least damage to down-ticket Republicans. U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Pat Toomey (Penn.), and Rob Portman (Ohio) are all vulnerable, as is the Senate seat being vacated in Florida by Marco Rubio. Cruz is less toxic for the party overall—he may be widely disliked by his colleagues, but as controversial as he is, he’s nowhere near as controversial as Trump. Yet one might wonder whether Cruz is really the stronger top of the ticket for struggling Republicans in some of these battleground states, where Trump’s working-class demographic could be critical.

In any event, the long-term, existential question may supersede short-term calculations. This is the question of exactly whose party the GOP is supposed to be and how it can again win elections at every level. The lower-class whites who respond most favorably to Trump have been an indispensable but subordinate element in the Republican coalition for decades. Trump has revealed just how sharply at odds this group’s attitudes are with those of the GOP elite. And looking at the policies that the most elite Republicans support—policies identified with Marco Rubio, for example—it’s obvious that they are intended to build a new base for the party while the white working class is consigned to gradual decline. Trump voters’ jobs are being eliminated by technology and trade deals, while the voters themselves are to be replaced by a larger Republican share of the Hispanic vote.

Ted Cruz, despite his Canadian-Cuban background, hardly seems like the leader to usher the Republican Party toward a multicultural future. But if Cruz is only a halting step forward, in the eyes of the most enlightened Republicans, Trump would be a great leap backward. The Republican elite might have preferred Rubio, or anyone else but Trump, over Cruz. Yet it’s hard to see any other choice emerging at the convention. The notion that Cruz or Trump delegates—who together will make up the overwhelmingly majority—would switch to Kasich seems farfetched. A failed candidate from earlier in the presidential contest, say Scott Walker or Rick Perry, might be more plausible, but not by much. Again, why would Cruz people defect?

Leading Republicans who haven’t been candidates this cycle are no better prospects. Mitt Romney is a two-time loser already, and Paul Ryan, although he has not ruled out standing as a candidate at the convention, is not suicidal: trying to unite the party in July, then beat Hillary Clinton in November, would be quite a trick. Ryan resisted even taking up the House speakership, having seen how the party’s congressional schisms brought down Boehner. Would he take a greater risk with a presidential bid?

Movement conservatives and the Republican establishment are stuck together for now, and they’re stuck with Cruz, who represents the only prospective nominee who can claim legitimacy as the alternative to Trump. And however imperfect he might be, Cruz would do more to advance the elite plan to remake the GOP for the 21st century than Trump would—especially if Cruz loses in November. His defeat could then be pinned on his being too conventionally right-wing, too Trump-like himself, and on Trump voters bolting the party. That would give the establishment all the more reason to call for a return to the policies associated with Rubio and the 2012 Republican “autopsy.” [3] The failure of Cruz’s Reagan-vintage conservatism would clear the way for a new kind of right in 2020.

The white working class isn’t extinct yet, however, and Trump represents a radical alternative for the GOP: a 21st-century Nixon strategy. The racial polarization involved in this has been getting plenty of attention, but the economic dimension should not be overlooked. Trump is not only making promises to American workers that by opposing trade deals he’ll keep good jobs in this country, he’s also bidding for votes by refusing to make cuts to popular government programs. From Social Security to federal funding for Planned Parenthood, voters who want tax dollars to provide services are hearing a pitch from Trump. It’s clear enough where this leads: to a Republican Party that bids with the Democrats to offer voters the most benefits. And if the bidding starts among working-class whites, that doesn’t mean that’s where it will end. If the dream of elite Republicans is to win blacks and Hispanics by appealing to values, the Trump strategy may ultimately be to appeal to their economic interests in much the same way as Democrats have traditionally done.

In simple terms, the elite Republican plan is for the GOP to be a multi-ethnic party whose economics are those of the elite itself; the Trump plan is for the GOP to be a party that politically plays ethnic blocs against one another, then bids to bring them together in a winning coalition by offering economic benefits for each group. Neither of these approaches is guaranteed to succeed, of course: non-white voters who already prefer the Democrats may continue to do so despite a liberalization of the GOP’s immigration policies, while the Nixon-Trump strategy risks being outbid by Democrats—who are historically more accustomed to promising government services—and sacrificing a growing number of non-white voters for a shrinking number of working-class whites.

In a healthy party these factions, Trump and anti-Trump, might learn from one another, the anti-Trump side coming to recognize how it has failed the white working class and the need to provide for it once more; the Trump side acknowledging the demographic realities of the 21st century and the toxicity of strident identity politics. Alas, the GOP has shown no capacity at all for learning from the mistakes of the Bush era—the establishment’s support this cycle for another Bush and for the Bush-like Rubio is proof of that—and the same is likely to be true of learning from the Trump crisis, or of Trump learning from the candidates he has vanquished.

Perhaps Cruz might do what the Republican establishment and Donald Trump cannot, reconciling the demands of the white working class with those of burgeoning cohorts of Hispanic and Asian voters. If he hopes to prevent Trump from assembling a delegate majority ahead of the convention, Cruz will have to broaden his appeal beyond the most religious and ideologically orthodox blocs of the GOP. Those very conservative or devoutly evangelical voters have allowed Cruz to win caucuses and closed primaries in some deep-red states, but they cannot counter the sheer mass of voters that Trump brings out in larger and more politically mixed states. For Cruz, broadening his appeal will be no easy thing, when his entire political profile is based on being the most strictly orthodox movement conservative of all. Orthodox conservatism has served white working-class voters poorly, and now that they’ve been offered an alternative by Trump, they’re taking it.

Cruz’s window of opportunity to halt Trump’s progress toward a delegate majority is closing quickly. The Utah caucuses on March 22 give him a shot at another state-wide win, and the Arizona primary that day will put to the test the question of whether John McCain’s home state prefers an orthodox conservative or the very unorthodox Trump. No polls have been taken since last year, but Trump would seem to be the favorite to win Arizona. And after that, the race heads to turf that’s likely to be exceptionally difficult for Cruz: Wisconsin’s primary on May 5, then New York’s on April 19. Unless Kasich can bleed Trump in Wisconsin, the prospect of blowout victories for Trump loom in April.

Trump has overwhelmed all opposition so far on the strength of earned media. The disparity between Trump and Cruz as a ratings draw for cable television will only continue to favor Trump as the race inches onward. Cruz and Kasich risk losing all their media oxygen in the coming weeks, and without that, building momentum to cut into Trump’s winnings will be excruciatingly difficult. Almost as hard as creating a new order out of the chaos of a contested convention. The irony of Cruz’s position is that the party’s future now hinges on how well he can do with an orthodox conservative message drawn from its past.

30 Comments (Open | Close)

30 Comments To "What Cruz vs. Trump Means"

#1 Comment By SteveM On March 16, 2016 @ 8:01 am

Re: “In this, lower-class whites are similar to black and Hispanic Americans, who remain firmly part of the Democratic coalition—despite much talk from movement conservatives about black and Hispanic qualms over abortion and homosexuality—because economics and group status are the things that matter most.”

Two recurrent points:

American Black and Hispanic CITIZENS are obvious targets for messages of low immigration and no Crony trade deals. It is those working class Americans who are most affected by the consequent wage cram downs and job loss from the current Crony driven policies.

Rhetorically, what economic policies would better resonate with Americans White, Black and Hispanic – more entitlements and a continued wallow in learned helplessness? (Democrats) versus access to jobs that pay a decent wage? (Trump). Rationally, Trump should win those voters using positive economic arguments if he has the discipline to coherently promote them. (That’s a pretty big if.)

Secondly, Cruz has recently come out against immigration only because it is politically expedient. Back in 2013 Cruz was all in to legalization as long as the immigrants could not vote.

What makes Cruz especially oily on this is that now he claims he was always against immigration and his 2013 tactics were simply to derail the Gang of 8 bill. But his interviews from 2013 indicate that he was clearly for massive immigration as long as the path to citizenship was removed. Which is still a sop to the Cronies and practically meaningless to the American citizens displaced from the workforce.

It’s not that Cruz changed his mind about immigration, it’s that he’s lying outright about his previous position using a totally unbelievable weasel argument. The guy is a duplicitous slob.

#2 Comment By MJR On March 16, 2016 @ 8:04 am

Trump plan is for the GOP to be a party that politically plays ethnic blocs against one another

No matter what happens, I suspect this is the future of American democracy.

#3 Comment By TB On March 16, 2016 @ 9:24 am

“What Cruz vs. Trump Means” is clear to me. The fin-de-siècle has arrived for the party that began 162 years ago. It drank from the poison chalice when it adopted its Southern Strategy. The ricin has worked through its system and now it stares into its grave.

#4 Comment By MikeCLT On March 16, 2016 @ 9:31 am

“Trump plan is for the GOP to be a party that politically plays ethnic blocs against one another

No matter what happens, I suspect this is the future of American democracy.”

Identity politics has been a standard operating procedure for the Democrats for decades. What is new is overtly appealing to Whites as an ethnic block.

#5 Comment By Roland P. On March 16, 2016 @ 9:52 am

Re: The Photo

The Donald: “Lets give a hand to this week’s finalist. ….”

Teddy: “Oh God!!!! I finally made ‘Apprentice’ !!!!!”

The Donald in the back of his mind: (“Man I can’t wait to see the ratings when I finally get to yell ‘YOUR FIRED'”)

#6 Comment By Randal On March 16, 2016 @ 10:26 am

The real pity of it is that Clinton is there for the taking, the ultimate establishment candidate in an anti-establishment year, the ultimate politically correct identity lobby apologist in a year of anti-pc anger.

For all Trump’s weaknesses (which are counterbalanced by strengths), he is in reality neither a racist nor a fascist, and those who claim he is are liars whose lies are inevitably going to be found out, provided enough of the media and political establishment can get behind him and expose the lies rather than pandering to them in the hope of destroying him for their own political purposes.

If the honest part of the Republican/conservative establishment would get behind him while the dishonest part decamps to the Clinton camp where they belong, there could be a Republican president in 2017. If they don’t, then there’s going to be another President Clinton, whether the route to it is Clinton-Trump, Clinton-Cruz, Clinton-Kasich, or whatever.

#7 Comment By Michelle Togut On March 16, 2016 @ 10:33 am

Perhaps Cruz might do what the Republican establishment and Donald Trump cannot, reconciling the demands of the white working class with those of burgeoning cohorts of Hispanic and Asian voters.

The thought that the incredibly divisive and unlikable Cruz could manage such a feat is laughable. Cruz has little attraction for those outside his uber-movement conservative and evangelical constituency. He may play in Texas but his persona is so unctuous that he makes Hillary Clinton look honest by comparison.

If he somehow wrangles the GOP nomination, he’ll at least do Republicans the service of showing that they haven’t lost previous races by failing to nominate the most “conservative” nominee.

#8 Comment By Alex On March 16, 2016 @ 10:57 am

Still think that Trump and Cruz can make a very good team and hope Ted prefers being the veep over untamed ambitions.

#9 Comment By Joe F On March 16, 2016 @ 11:36 am

I get the feeling(or maybe just hope) we have reached peak Cruz. As others have stated he really is just another establishment Republican who has pulled the wool over some people’s eyes. Also if he is given the nomination having come in second in the primary process the GOP will have handed the Presidency over to the Democrats.

#10 Comment By Christopher Manion On March 16, 2016 @ 12:37 pm

“The Texas senator checks every ideological box for the movement, from cutting government to talking tough in foreign policy to opposing abortion and same-sex marriage.”

I disagree. Stan Evans was right: “Conservatives coming to DC know that it’s a sewer. The trouble is, most of them wind up treating it like a hot tub.” Crony capitalism is a bipartisan reality.

Further: Cruz has embraced Bush-Obama’s view of unilateral war. This expert who has memorized the Constitution doesn’t feel compelled to let Congress declare war any more than Bush and Obama have.

Cruz and Trump disagree on trade, but so do other conservatives (who are not, by the way, “ideologues.”)

Curious that no Republican has raised the Tenth Amendment. So many good things are happening on the state level, and the fedgov is such a mess, the obvious platform plank is to return education, health, welfare, and the life issues, for starters, to the states.

Who has championed that Constitutional policy beside Ron Paul? Governor Walker could have, but he hired all the usual suspects, with the usual results.

There is an answer, however. Hillary would stoke the fear of everyone whose extended family has someone somewhere who depends on a federal program or a federal contract. And their number is legion.

#11 Comment By thepanzer On March 16, 2016 @ 1:10 pm

“In simple terms, the elite Republican plan is for the GOP to be a multi-ethnic party whose economics are those of the elite itself”

This is accurate but also completely crazy pants and at odds with reality. I would caveat it to add “and use culture war issues to rope in as much of the non-elite as possible.” Which is the flip side to the coin the democrats use which is the same elite strategy but with “use identity and gender politics to rope in as much of the non-elite as possible.”

Those 2 strategies are REALLY the same playbook both parties have run since the 80’s. It worked for as long the middle class and poor had access to easy debt to make up for wage cuts, but now that both groups are maxed out, have no future serious job prospects, and are looking at a generalized economic depression…forever…the playbook is not going to last. (as well it shouldn’t)

Both the Republican and Democratic leadership is kidding itself if it thinks the populist, protectionist, non-intervionist trends are going anywhere but up. Globalization has gutted the US empire from the inside out and the bread and circuses aren’t distracting the way they used to.

God help the republican elite if they steal the nomination from Trump is he goes in with a substantial delegate lead, as he likely will. The leadership seems to be forgetting that Trump’s supporters ARE the heavily armed NRA wing of the party, have very little to lose, and have a few decades worth of real and imagined grievances to get their pound of flesh on.

Likwise the Democratic party has used blatant, underhanded tactics via the DNC and party leadership to “coronate” Hillary without the fuss and muss of a primary. Many Democrats have noticed and are more than a little upset about it. Add to it the overeach of the SJW maoists and the same economic depression the republican base feels and you have a recipe for democratic revolt.

In tandem, both parties are likely to reap what they’ve sowed via neo-liberal, trickle down economics for the last close to 40 years. Trump is only the first, not the last person to harness the rising tide growing, unstoppable social discontent with the status quo.

#12 Comment By Al On March 16, 2016 @ 1:19 pm

Randel above is correct. If the Republican establishment merely desisted from attacking Trump, let alone coalesce behind him, he likely would shatter Hillary’s coalition and win, probably in a landslide. Hillary’s whole claim to the presidency has been built on demonstrating that she is the ultmimate establishment persona. Sander’s otherwise unthinkable candidacy reflects the depth of disgust with this on the Democrat side. She is a bad actor playing a highly unpopular role. She is extraordinarily vulnerable.

Yet the bulk of the Republican establishment seems more comfortable with Hillary. Perhaps they should be. A Trump victory would shake up a good many things. Hillary’s won’t.

#13 Comment By CJ On March 16, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

Minor point, but Rob Portman is not vulnerable unless the top of the GOP ticket causes voters to stay home. Otherwise, he will go through Ted Strickland like Sherman through Atlanta.

#14 Comment By Optatus Cleary On March 16, 2016 @ 1:20 pm

In response to Steve M:
You would expect an anti-illegal immigrant/ “jobs for Americans” message to resonate with Hispanic and Black citizens. But it doesn’t seem to.

First, most Mexican Americans have illegal immigration somewhere in their family or circle of friends. Many American-born Hispanics are children of illegal immigrants, and many have uncles and aunts and cousins who are here illegally. Furthermore, teaching and living in mostly Hispanic communities, I can say that the distinction, if intended, is not coming through. The typical Mexican-American US citizen, in my experience, believes that Trump wants to strip him of his citizenship and deport him.

As for Black Americans, I’m less familiar with their communities and thus less qualified to speak. However, I would guess that the “racist” accusation holds a lot of weight with them. They have suffered much from racism historically, and so the “Trump is racist” is effective in preventing more black people from voting for Trump.

(I’m not saying this as a Trump supporter…I oppose every candidate in this election. I’m just pointing out what I see in terms of opposition to his candidacy.)

#15 Comment By ADC Wonk On March 16, 2016 @ 1:37 pm

Cruz will have a hard time as long as Kasich is also drawing votes away from the anti-Trumpers.

And, in the meantime, if Trump ends up not being the nominee in a contested convention, Trump asserst:

“I think you’d have riots… [I’m] representing many millions of people. If you disenfranchise those people, and you say, ‘I’m sorry, you’re 100 votes short’… I think you’d have problems like you’ve never seen before. I think bad things would happen.”

Is he making a threat? Stirring up his minions?

Just. Wow.

#16 Comment By The Other Sands On March 16, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

“Identity politics has been a standard operating procedure for the Democrats for decades. What is new is overtly appealing to Whites as an ethnic block.”

I guess the “overtly” part might be new, otherwise no.

When we go down this rabbit whole regarding the “identity politics” of parties it ignores the fact that many many white people, at all income levels, support Democrats and always have. There are many working class white people who are Democrats.

#17 Comment By EngineerScotty On March 16, 2016 @ 1:52 pm

What does Cruz v. Trump mean?

Madam President.

#18 Comment By todd On March 16, 2016 @ 2:15 pm

Trump + Cruz + √ ∑(Kasich,Rubio,et al) = Obama’s approval rating.

The rest of the country IS noticing this nightmarish freak-show of a primary.

#19 Comment By ADC Wonk On March 16, 2016 @ 2:19 pm

Likwise the Democratic party has used blatant, underhanded tactics via the DNC and party leadership to “coronate” Hillary without the fuss and muss of a primary. Many Democrats have noticed and are more than a little upset about it.

This is just not grounded in reality. If that were the case, a former independent named Sanders wouldn’t have come out of nowhere to seriously challenge her, and win primaries like Michigan, and come within an eyelash of beating her in Illinois and Ohio, too.

Sanders has come a long way, much much further than most of their supporters thought possible, and, after they get over the sting of last nights losses, will mostly rally behind HRC, because the thought of a Trump or a Cruz as Prez horrifies them.

#20 Comment By Dennis Brislen On March 16, 2016 @ 2:52 pm

Hear, Hear Christopher Manion!

Outstanding assessment.

Paleoconservatism should trust none of the entrants, most of all Cruz. Though Trump leaves much to be ascertained in the trustworthy department, his instinctive assessments of foreign policy and economics are preferable to Cruz. Though I do shudder a bit when reminded he spoke of John Bolton as a “pretty sharp guy’.

#21 Comment By William Dalton On March 16, 2016 @ 4:00 pm

The biggest problem with Cruz is the same as exists with Rubio – youth and inexperience. Ideology aside, neither has accomplished anything to be worthy of consideration for the Presidency. 2016 was supposed, for each, to be their first run for the White House – the one they are not supposed to win, but which sets them up for success the next time, as with Romney, McCain, George H.W. Bush, and, of course, Ronald Reagan. if Cruz takes the nomination in 2016, it will be like Reagan having been nominated in 1968. The country wouldn’t have been ready for him, and it is arguable Reagan wouldn’t have been ready for the White House.

Cruz’ myopic views on so much foreign policy – Israel, Iran – reveal that he is not ready to be trusted with the architecture, much less the engineering, of U.S. relations with the World.

If Cruz assesses his position fairly he will see the role for him in 2016 should less likely be that of the Presidential nominee, but rather as Trump’s V-P running mate. He can bridge the gap between Republican conservatives and populists to maintain Party unity at a time the old guard of McCains and Romneys are leaving. More importantly, he doesn’t set himself up for a premature, personal defeat. He can spend eight years as President in waiting, and then move on to fill the premier role when he is prepared to do so.

If the Republican Party bosses offer him a deal for him to help them keep Trump from the nomination, only vanity will keep him from seeing it would be a fool’s bargain.

#22 Comment By Steve in Ohio On March 16, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

I agree with William Dalton that Cruz should be Trump’s VP. The media would torment Trump about why he chose to run with “Lying Ted” but I think that’s the only way to bring many Tea Party and evangelicals on board. Yes, Trump does well with these groups, but the ones voting for Cruz are very hostile and likely to sit out the election. Trump could also pivot toward the establishment and put Kasich on the ticket (like Reagan did when he chose Bush41) but I think the Cruz strategy would work better. They are both immigration patriots and that issue is very powerful this year.

#23 Comment By MeekandInoffensiveOne On March 16, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

Substantively, I wouldn’t like to see Kasich on the ticket.

Electorally, though, Kasich as VP probably tips Ohio to the Republicans — a state they used to win regularly but have lost recently, and a state they need in order to get to 270 electoral votes nationally.

Holding the Romney 2012 states and flipping just Ohio and Florida gets Republicans quite close to 270.

#24 Comment By Wes On March 16, 2016 @ 7:46 pm

“Trump plan is for the GOP to be a party that politically plays ethnic blocs against one another”

“No matter what happens, I suspect this is the future of American democracy.”

Agreed. And this will ring truer and truer as the years progress and we become more ethnically diverse; it will be a sad result of the multiculturalism for which we never voted.

The evidence abounds, but I’ve always thought this quote from the ex Singapore prime minister to be a unusually honest one:

“In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.” [4]

We know that hispanics and blacks vote in general solidarity, but recent research suggests whites will also vote increasingly conservative (white) when made aware of their demographic decline. [5]

So, yeah, our policy makers have created and promoted an extremely dangerous thing – and it will not end well…Trump is just the first General.

#25 Comment By Clint On March 16, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

Trump has already begun his campaign against Hillary Clinton,
She tried to pass health care reform. Biggest disaster I ever saw in Washington. Biggest I ever saw. And that’s saying a lot. She wanted us to go into Iraq and then into Libya. Look at that mess. Worst decision in foreign policy history. Worst. NAFTA, prisons, welfare reform. You know that story about King Midas? Where he touches something and it turns to gold? Hillary’s the opposite. Everything she touches blows up. She’s a disaster

#26 Comment By pj On March 17, 2016 @ 2:31 am

I am convinced that Trump, if he manages to get a majority of delegates is going to ask Kasich to be the VP. The worst he has said about him is that he voted for NAFTA which is like pillowfighting for Trump. There have been none of the personal insults like the others. He is clearly running a Midwest/Rustbelt strategy and has said he wants an experienced person working with Congress; who better then the guy who was there the last time the budget was balanced. Cruz simply doesn’t fit either of those things. They would be the strongest GOP ticket in the Midwest since Reagan was on the ballot. I would give them better than even odds of defeating Clinton regardless of what the polls say today.

On the other hand, if Trump falls short of the majority, the inevitable result looks like a Trump/Cruz ticket. I disagree with your belief that the establishment will eventually rally to him. I mean when Inhofe of all people endorses Kasich, the lone guy who has talked about clean energy and such you really see the depth of hatred for Cruz. The actual establishment has shown no willingness to join with Cruz to stop Trump, and if they try to stop them both when they clearly have the majority of delegates they will cut the deal and join together rather than see any chance of having it stolen from both of them.

#27 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 17, 2016 @ 2:44 am

I might add that a Cruz Presidency would be the final nail in the coffin for Christian credibility. George Bush’s own immature spirituality married to contrary neocon and neoliberal policies did more to discredit Christianity than any number of devils.

A Cruz Presidency, doubling down on all those failed and anti-Christian policies this supposed Christian espouses, from the repudiation of middle eastern Christians to his promises to make their desert sand glow in the dark, to his bankster ties by marriage and political donorism, may gain him some support now. But the ultimate failure of patriotic, militaristic and elite financial policies falsely so conflating it with evangelical Christianity, can only further discredit it.

Ironically, since Trump does not seek to justify any policies by identifying them as specifically Christian, or himself as particularly religious, nothing he does will call Christianity into disrepute. The public standing of Christians will not be called into question by either failures or success. Given that so much of the status quo policy environment is becoming problematic to the free expression of Christian conscience, Trump is the likeliest candidate to allow the recovery of the exercise of Christian conscience, and thus credibility by refusing to conflate it with controversial or problematic policy.

#28 Comment By RW On March 17, 2016 @ 3:03 am

Cruz is a hollow Bush muppet, cynically pedaling the name of Christ in order to fund his campaign.

A vote for Cruz is a vote for Judas.

#29 Comment By Rick Johnson On March 17, 2016 @ 5:42 pm

I see. Cruz, funded by Goldman Sachs and Citicorp, endorsed by Neil Bush, the thief who ripped off that Colorado SSL, husband of Heid Cruz, that paragon of strategic wisdom who helped in giving us the Iraq War, the China Trade Policy, the TPP is the true MOVEMENT CONSERVATIVE.

And despite periodically controlling the House, Senate and the Presidency, what has Movement Conservativism given us? John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court; wars and wars bringing chaos in the world, mass immigration destroying the traditional demographic.

As a conservative from before most of you were born, I recognize that Trumpism is recognition of the existential threat to what used to be called America.

#30 Comment By Sema M. On March 18, 2016 @ 2:32 pm

I fear that Cruz wants the US to get into more wars in the Middle East on behalf of a certain other country in the Middle East.